Beautiful Signs for a Better Planet

WELL Building Signs

BETTER SIGNS FOR PEOPLE, PLANET & PLACE

WELL signs are a powerful tool for promoting human health and well-being within WELL Building Standard® projects.

Green Dot Sign® specializes in sustainable ADA and wayfinding signage and our goals overlap with the WELL building framework.  We dove into WELL to learn more about the role of signs within this Standard.  Our research is shared through this WELL Building Signage Guide and a blog post with eight findings from a survey of AECO professionals.

This Guide highlights the role signage plays in the WELL certified buildings and reveals how thoughtful sign system design can enhance building occupants’ experience. ADA, wayfinding and educational signs can contribute to multiple WELL concept preconditions and optimizations.  Additionally, our Red List Approved Declare label signs meet Materials concept requirements.

WELL Signage

The WELL building framework is growing in popularity and in 2021 was in use by over 30,286 projects in 98 countries, encompassing over 3.08 billion square feet of real estate.

There are numerous opportunities for ADA, wayfinding and educational signage in the WELL Building Standard®.   An effective sign system can contribute to multiple WELL v2 preconditions and optimization points.  For example, signage can be used to promote stair use over an elevator, discourage tobacco use or direct to healthy food options.

THE WELL BUILDING STANDARD

The WELL Building Standard® leads “the global movement to transform our buildings, communities and organizations in ways that help people thrive.”

On average we spend more than 90% of our time in buildings.  WELL is the first building standard focused on enhancing human health and well being through the built environment.  Evidence based WELL performance standards help to reduce occupants stress, increase work productivity and retain employees.

The WELL building standard is managed and administered through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).  IWBI was established in 2013 and is certified by the Green Business Certification Incorporation (GBCI), which also administers the USGBC LEED® green building program.  

The first WELL building standard, WELL v1, launched in 2014. Seven years of research including a two-year pilot program and a formal peer review process were conducted to ensure framework rigor.  WELL v2 was released as a pilot in 2018 and officially launched in 2020.  At this time, version 2 remains the most up to date WELL standard.

For more detailed information about WELL v2 requirements please  review the WELL Certified Overview.

WELL SIGNS BY CONCEPT

The WELL v2 framework organizes building requirements into the ten core concepts of Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community. Each concept has preconditions, which are required for WELL building certification. Additionally, within every concept there are optimizations for earning additional points and achieving a higher level of WELL certification.

Within the WELL rating system there are 110 points available in each project scorecard. Building certification levels are 40 points for Bronze, 5o points for Silver, 60 points for Gold and 80 or more points for Platinum. Building performance is verified through documentation reviews and on-site testing.

 

This Guide section provides detailed information about WELL building project signage within each WELL concept. Links to WELL V2 requirements are provided for further explanation.

WELL Precondition

Signs are required to clearly communicate the WELL certified building precondition of a smoke-free environment.

 

  • In A02 Smoke-Free Environment smoking and e-cigarette use is prohibited in all indoor and most outdoor building locations for all projects. If smoking is permitted in any outdoor space signs that describe the hazards of smoking must be placed along walkways with not more than 100 feet between signs.

WELL Optimization

Two types of WELL signs are required for the non-potable water reuse optimization.
First, when appropriate, WELL project signage systems should label potable water and non-potable water.  For example, a sign could communicate the message “Non-potable – do not drink”. Additionally, informative signage, such as a a water reuse diagram, should be used to highlight the conservation goals and safety features of a non-potable water reuse system.

 

WELL Precondition

Signs in a WELL certified building can present required information about food and beverage options at point of decision, helping individuals make informed healthy eating choices.

 

  • Per precondition N02 Nutritional Transparency specific information for food and beverages distributed in the WELL building project must be displayed via signage, menus or packaging.  Key nourishment information includes calories, macronutrient content, sugar content, primary ingredients and common food allergens.

 

WELL Optimizations

 

WELL signs are a way to provide information about healthy food choices.  To earn part 1 of this optimization at least three signs should be used to encourage consumption of whole, natural foods and/or encourage drinking water. Additionally, for optimization part 2 on menu signage healthy items should be prominently displayed.

 

 

Signs are also one of the resources that can be used to deliver educational nutrition information for another WELL building optimization.

 

  • Per optimization N07 Nutrition Education (1 point) no cost educational information must be provided to building occupants at least quarterly.  In additional to cookbooks, demonstrations, workshops and dietary consultations, nutrition information can be delivered via brochures, posters and online.

 

WELL Precondition

Signs at high traffic points are a way to provide required educational information about the value of strategic lighting in WELL projects.

 

  • In precondition L10 Light Exposure and Education lighting type and intensity are regulated and lighting educational through several forms is required.  Specific lighting education topics include circadian rhythm, sleep hygiene, age-related increases in light requirements and the importance of daylight exposure on circadian rhythm and mental health. For WELL signage, the primary language(s) spoken by the local population should be considered.

WELL Preconditions & Optimizations

Signs can encourage building occupants to be active through stair or walking on a path use.  Signs may also provide information about ergonomic workstations.

 

  • Precondition V01 Active Buildings and Communities requires a certified WELL building to include at least one movement feature.  Relevant movement feature optimizations that include signage are listed next.

 

  • Within V03 Movement Network and Circulation Part 2 (1 point)  is the option to integrate point-of-decision signage that encourages stair use. Within WELL building at least one of this type of WELL sign must be used at elevator banks or other modes of motorized circulation such as escalators, the base of stairs, stairwells or re-entry points at each floor and corridor junctions that lead to either stairs or a motorized circulation modes. The primary language(s) spoken by the local population should be considered for stairs signage.

 

  • Alternately, V09 Exterior Active Design Part 2 (1 point) includes the option to provide at least two on-site pedestrian destinations within the project. One of these destinations can be a walking path or trail supported with wayfinding signage.

 

  • In the V02 Visual and Physical Ergonomics Part 5 precondition it is required for WELL v2 projects to provide educational information about ergonomic workstation furnishings for desk- and standing-based workstations. WELL signs can also be used to provide educational information about safe workplace ergonomics.

WELL Optimization

A walking trail or path supported by wayfinding signage from the WELL Movement concept is also relevant under the Thermal Comfort concept.

 

  • In T09 β Outdoor Thermal Comfort Part 3 (1 point) there is the beta option to support outdoor nature access through on-site pedestrian destinations. This beta optimization component is in addition to parts that focus on designing outdoor spaces that manage heat and excessive wind.

WELL Optimization

WELL signs should be used to indicate the location and purpose of Quite and Mixes Zones.

 

  • In beta optimization S07 β Enhanced Audio Devices Part 2 (1 point) there are four ways to support individual acoustical needs and projects must meet three of four options.  One option is to have at least a once daily quiet hour scheduled and signage to identify Quiet and Mixed Zones as identified in S01 Sound Mapping.

 

WELL Precondition

WELL building products and materials, including educational and ADA and wayfinding signage, should not contain materials known to be hazardous.

 

  • In precondition X01 Fundamental Material Precautions hazardous ingredient components in newly installed building materials are restricted.  Specific focused is placed on restricting asbestos, mercury and lead.

 

WELL Optimizations

Signage should follow the same principles as other newly installed building materials in order to reduce exposure to hazardous heavy metals, phthalates and VOCs.

 

 

To support the objectives of WELL Materials concept preconditions and optimizations building products, including WELL signs, that meet precautions and material transparency guidelines should be selected.

 

  • Per X13 Enhanced Material Precaution (2 points) newly installed furnishings, built-in furniture, interior finishes and finish materials with optimized materials should be selected.  Within this optimization one or two points are earned for 15% or 25% of materials by cost meeting the requirements of a program that restricts, screens and labels the use of hazardous contents. The three programs that can be used to verify material optimization are ILFI Declare, No Greenscreen and Cradle to Cradle.

 

  • Additionally, in X14 Material Transparency (2 points) newly installed interior finishes, furnishings and built-in furniture with transparency labels that disclose ingredients should be selected.  One or two WELL optimization points can be earned for 25% or 50% of products by cost providing relevant disclosures.  Acceptable programs are Declare label, Health Product Declaration (HPD) and any screening or hazard disclosure accepted in the USGBC LEED® v4 Materials & Resources Credit: Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Material Ingredients, Option 1: material ingredient reporting.

 

Finally, WELL signs can educate occupants on building practices and promote contact reduction strategies such as social distancing, frequent hand washing and hands-free operation.

 

WELL Optimizations

ADA signage should be use to properly identify restorative spaces and educational WELL signs can provide information about restorative and sleep spaces.

 

  • In the M07 Restorative Spaces (2 points) optimization one point is awarded for providing restorative indoor spaces and another point for providing outdoor restorative space. Each of these optimization parts have several requirements including accessible design and educational materials.  Educational signage is a way to meet the optimization requirement of communicating about daytime napping, fatigue, sleep hygiene and managing problems associated with shift work.

 

  • In M11 Sleep Support Part 1 (1 point) there are four requirements for providing workplace sleep support.  One of the requirements is making sleep educational materials available.

 

WELL signs are a way to provide educational information about tobacco harms, cessation strategies and other tobacco health resources to all regular building occupants.

 

Optimizations

Signs in a WELL certified building communicate and promote a culture of health.

 

  • Optimization C06 Health Promotion Part 1 (2 points) requires the promotion of occupant health through at least two of four strategies.  One of the four strategy options includes signage that reinforces a culture of health and markets health programs to employees.  When creating signage the language(s) of the local population should be considered.

 

An organization’s participation in a program that promotes equity and program results can be publicly displayed within a WELL building with signage.

 

  • In the C12 Organizational Transparency (2 points) optimization projects are encouraged to participate in third party certified programs that evaluate an organization’s equity and inclusion. The ILFI Just disclosure framework is one of six approved programs.

 

Fully compliant ADA signs and a thoughtful wayfinding signage system are critical for ensuring accessibility and accommodating a range of occupant abilities. Unfortunately, federal ADA signage regulations can be confusing and cumbersome.  To ensure your next building project is compliant review our ADA Sign Requirements Guide!

 

  • Meeting all local accessibility laws and/or codes is required by C13 Accessibility and Universal Design Part 1 (1 point) and integrating universal design principles is covered by Part 2 (2 points). Under the Universal Design section a professional must ensure that spaces are optimized to meet occupant needs.  Among the six design considerations, is wayfinding and using signage to help individuals navigate intuitively.

 

WELL signage at the entrance of a community spaces should clearly state the space’s designation for public use and the hours it is open.

 

 

MATERIALS CONCEPT BENEFITS

The WELL Materials concept highlights the importance of healthy materials and building product ingredient transparency. Our signs meet Materials concept requirements and can contribute to other WELL preconditions and optimizations.

As of 2021 Green Dot Sign® aspen base signage is the only available signage backed by an International Living Future Institute (ILFI) Red List Approved Declare label.

It took considerable product development and durability testing to earn a Declare label. Declare requires products material disclosure to 100 PPM, ten times the requirement for HPDs.  Red List Approved means this product does not contain the worst materials for our planet, including vinyl and phthalates.

 

Well Signage System Declare Label

Click the Declare logo to see our ILFI product listing

WELL SIGNAGE SYSTEM CONTACT FORM

We’d love to hear from you!  Our team is ready to help with WELL signs related queries or projects.  Please complete the form below and we will be in touch within two business days.